Burma: 29 children suffer from physic nut poisoning

Source of Article: http://www.mizzima.com/news/inside-burma/1642-29-children-suffer-from-physic-nut-poisoning-.html






by Mizzima News   

Monday, 02 February 2009 18:49

Rangoon (Mizzima) Twenty-nine children from State Middle and Primary Schools from Thaketa Township in Rangoon Division, suffered from food poisoning after eating physic nut seeds, according to the Township Education Officer's Office.

Twenty nine students from the State Primary Schools No. 41, 22 and State Middle Schools No. 1 and 7 ate dried physic nut seeds after school in the evening on Jan 28. They picked these dried seeds from physic nut plants grown in their school premises.

"There are 29 students and the rest are from outside. Most of the children are students of State Primary Schools No. 41, 22 and State Middle School No. 7. Most of the students are from SPS No. 41. They ate these dried nuts after school. They suffered from uneasiness and vomiting. That's all," an official from Thaketa Township Education Officer's Office said.

A student's mother told Mizzima that she saw the children suffering from diarrhea, and when asked, they replied that they had eaten dried physic nuts. Several children in the neighborhood ate those nuts on that day.

"We realized that the children from almost every household in our ward were suffering from food poisoning, when many children visited the nearby clinics. Their blood pressure was too low at 50/30 mm Hg when they reached the clinic. The doctors put them on a drip in Thaketa and another 3 bottles of medicine were given to them in Rangoon Children's Hospital. Now they are much better," she said.

The dried physic nuts are rich in taste and the children think they are edible. They picked the dried seeds from the plants and ate together, a 4th Grader student said.

"We were given these seeds by our friends living in 1st Lane. We tasted it and found it had rich taste. Then I picked a (polythene) bagful of the nuts and shared them among our friends. Then we suffered from uneasiness and vomiting," he said.

The children were admitted at local clinics and Thaketa Hospital. Some critical patients were admitted at the Rangoon Children's Hospital on the same night. Most of the children were admitted at the local Thaketa Hospital and were discharged the next day.

"All the children were discharged from the hospital and are back home. They are feeling much better. Those, who were admitted at Rangoon Hospital, were also discharged. Our Director General himself visited them on Sunday. Their condition has improved," an official from the Basic Education Department said.

There are two types of toxins in physic nuts. The symptoms of physic nut food poisoning are nausea, uneasiness, stomach pain, low blood pressure and exhaustion with continuous diarrhea. The condition of such a patient will normalize if proper treatment is given within 48 hours, a leading doctor from Rangoon said.

Similarly, 2 students from SPS No. 38 suffered from physic nut food poisoning in the end of last year. They had to take medical treatment for two days.

There were 27 physic nut food poisoning cases in 2007 and 69% of them were school children.

Under the fuel self-sufficiency scheme, the government has launched nationwide physic nut plantation projects since December 2005.

Reporting by Mizzima correspondent in Rangoon and written by Phanida


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